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Subject:Very Large Carved Horn Sagemono?
Posted By: [email protected] Thu, Apr 15, 2021 IP:

I have an unusually large Japanese one case inro that measures 8" tall x 3" wide x 1.5" deep. It is carved from an ox horn and features mother of pearl inlays along with what I think may be a Komainu because of the wings, scales and small horn.
I haven’t found any examples of this size. Were sagemono made to carry writing brushes? I found no signature or marks. Is it likely just a personal piece carved as a pastime rather than as a profession? Any thoughts to age?
Thank you so much for your help!

Subject:Re: Very Large Carved Horn Sagemono?
Posted By: Suzume Fri, Apr 16, 2021


I don't really think that's Japanese. The style feels more South-East Asian (Bali, Indonesia, etc.).

I think it might be a herb box (so ironically enough quite similar in purpose to an inro). I've included a picture of some similar ones.

The beast on top would be a Singa (winged lion).

I hope this helps,


Subject:Re: Very Large Carved Horn Sagemono?
Posted By: Julie Godinez Fri, Apr 16, 2021

Suzume, I cannot thank you enough for the re-direction! I've been able to search and find similar carved horns because of your gracious help!

One question I have is that the examples I found all have been carved to sit on a shelf, yet this one has cord channels on the sides to be used like an inro. Have you seen any examples of this and could that change the designed use to something one would carry with them? Thank you! | Associations | Articles | Exhibitions | Galleries |